8:30am Wednesday 19th October 2011
THERE has been a fair bit of hanging around for Press conferences and interviews to start here – and a few BBC pundits have been filling the time by putting together a Gwent team entirely on the basis of people who are in New Zealand now or have been in one capacity or another during the World Cup.
This is what they have come up with, with one vacancy to be filled at prop: Percy Montgomery (ex-Newport and Dragons, South Africa kicking coach), Matt Evans (ex-Newport wing/full back with Canada), Paul Emerick (ex-Dragons centre, USA player), James Arlidge (ex-Dragons, member of Japan team), Josh Taumalolo (ex-Ebbw Vale, member of Tonga coaching team), Stuart Barnes (ex-Newport, Sky TV pundit), Danny Lee (ex-Dragons, with NZ radio), Phil Kingsley Jones (ex-Ebbw Vale, NZ TV pundit), Mike Watkins (ex-Newport captain now after dinner speaker based in Far East), no takers as tight head prop, Michael Owen (ex-Dragons and Wales, ITV pundit), Kuli Faletau (ex-Ebbw Vale and father of Toby), Paul Pook (ex-Ebbw Vale, Russia fitness coach), Eddie Butler (ex-Pontypool and Wales captain, BBC expert and journalist), Kingsley Jones (ex-Ebbw Vale captain, Russia coach).
Coach: Declan Kidney (the Dragons coach who never took charge of a game before returning to Ireland).
TEMPTING fate? Auckland council chiefs are planning a World Cup victory parade for the All Blacks which will bring back memories of the one they last planned just before New Zealand were knocked out of the 2007 tournament by France.
The All Blacks are big favourites in the final against France and it is understood the council and the New Zealand Rugby Union have been in talks to organise a ticker-tape parade next Wednesday or Thursday.
No-one would want to spoil their party from our part of the world, would they?
The only problem is that the opposition is France – and we all know what happened in last Saturday’s semi-final. Could be the final no neutral is particularly interested in.
FREUDIAN slip. Wales coach Warren Gatland talking about that sending off incident yesterday: “I know a lot has been spoken about the yellow card,” quickly correcting himself amid much laughter, “sorry, red card.”
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